Internet in Education - Practical Experience
Čepek and Josef Hnojil
Key words: Internet, higher education, practical experience.
The most of teachers in all types of education
levels face with innovations in teaching and learning which are often
denoted as computer-assisted teaching (CAT) and computer-based
Computer and information technologies surround us
in our whole life. The same situation is in the branch of geodesy and
cartography which is also fully computerized. We would like to show
examples and evolution of computers and Internet usage in teaching and
learning in this branch. First of the authors has been already
teaching computer oriented subjects for seven years, so we can follow
all the computer-based enhancements in education with him.
Evolution - how it was, how it is
The first regular seminar about Internet services
started in the end of year 1993. There was not World Wide Web service
- the Internet consisted of textual documents and few pictures. Both
teachers and students were experiencing a new technology. At this
place it must be said that from the first moment Internet was seen as
another but powerful working tool. The power of the Internet is in
communication, collaboration and cooperation. Emphasis in Internet and
informatics lessons must be on process and strategy not on
destinations and techniques.
As the consciousness of the Internet was coming
wider we included the Internet lessons as part of informatics lessons
in the first year of graduate studies. Computers are used in almost
all lessons as a working tool. We established electronic mailing lists
for some lessons (programming, informatics and databases) so the
students have another forum for discussing professional topics and
problems. The main problem is that students still miss the need for
sharing their knowledge as it is common at other (mostly West European
and American) universities. They do small steps and the frequency of
messages in the electronic mailing lists is increasing every year.
As the World Wide Web service widespread we started
to put some course materials (abstracts, literature, homeworks, etc.)
on-line. The potential of the WWW is at 24-hour access to documents.
In some seminars students are encouraged to write a
paper about selected topics. They must use information sources -
instead of drilling down the facts they practice finding useful
information in libraries, thematical databanks and on the Internet.
For most of them it is the first attempt to write their own technical
paper in which they can express their own ideas.
There were more changes last year. First, we
started to put annotations of diplomas on-line to our web site.
Second, we started to develop Open Source project called GaMa (Geodesy
and Mapping). The main objective is the development of public on-line
service for adjustment of geodetic 2D networks; our students are
involved in the project.
Future plans and expectations
We would like to see more intensive usage of modern
information technologies in our branch in the near future. For this
purpose the branch information strategy needs to be developed because
a non-coordinated application of computers and information
technologies would depreciate high status of the branch. We are
optimistic that it will be realized.
Aleš Čepek and Josef Hnojil
Department of Mapping and Cartography
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Czech Technical University in Prague